The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), flush with supplies, is sending 1.2-1.5 million litres of milk a day to be processed in dairies outside Gujarat. The GCMMF’s milk procurement this winter is 17-18 per cent higher than last year.
RS Sodhi, managing director of the GCMMF that owns the Amul brand, said Gujarat had a processing capacity of 18 million litres a day and the GCMMF was setting up an additional capacity of 2-2.5 million litres in the state that would take a year to come up. He was speaking on the sidelines of the CII Marketing and Brand Summit 2015.
“Meanwhile, our milk procurement is up more than what we had expected this winter. We are procuring at least 17-18 per cent more milk compared to last year. Hence, we are running short of processing capacity here in the state, and have to send milk for processing to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra,” he said. Some milk was being processed at private dairies, too, he added.
Sodhi said drought years pushed up milk production because farmers focussed more on dairying. However, in the long run, droughts induce stress in cattle whose green fodder intake is lowered, impacting milk availability. Prices of milk, however, will be stable in the medium term.
The GCMMF is investing Rs 450 crore to set up a skimmed milk powder plant at Gandhinagar with a capacity of 150 tonnes a day. Skimmed milk powder prices are low in the international markets and the scope for exports is low this season.
The federation is encouraging educated youth to enter commercial dairy farming. Sodhi says there were 40,000 commercial or large-scale dairy farms in Gujarat. The growth of these large farms is critical for the growth of the GCMMF as it aims to become a Rs 30,000 crore federation by 2020.